Do you know how to move just the hi-hats from an ACID drum loop slightly to the right?
FL Studio (Fruity Loops) has one of the most non-standard, inconsistent interfaces I have ever worked with. Functionality is duplicated but randomly different throughout the application. I wish I could tell you that these inconsistencies are worth their individual stress because of some wondersome flexibility but at least half of the inconsistencies are completely unjustified except, perhaps, as historical. (Which, of course, is not consolation.) Not having assignable keyboard and mouse actions locks you into someone else’s random decision process. No, individually, these inconsistencies are not worth the trouble. Collectively, however, that’s a different story.
Last November, Joe Chellman wrote this great article on drum programming techniques.
The section on ghosting stayed with me. I used to add lots of little ghost hits but for some reason I let it go. Well Joe shook me loose again and now I rarely let a drum beat go by without it.
I mainly use FL Studio for building drum beats, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done with ACID.
Steps for using Live as a ReWire host to FL Studio (Fruity Loops) slave.
For the last year and a half my preferred way of composing a mix was to use FL Studio (nee Fruity Loops) as my main mixing surface. Unfortunately FL doesn’t have any time or pitch stretching so when I need that functionality I call up ACID, stretch the clips I need, render them out and load them into my FL project. The recent release of FL Studio 4.5 supports ReWire so I decided to take another looks at Live since it is a ReWire host. (ACID is also a ReWire host but the interaction with FL has been tenuous for me. I am being generous. It’s been flaky to the point of unusable.)
In order to compare ACID and Live, I decided to use a pre-existing long original track and try to add a new beat to it. The end result of both trials are extremely similar (strikingly so) which led me to focus the comparison on the productivity and user interface differences between in Live and ACID. What follows is the result of that investigation. (I’ll get to the actual stretching algorithmic differences in another article.)
I set out to put the recording to music but there was a serious problem with room noise as the recording was made in “stealth” by a mini-disc recorder. One of the first things that became obvious was that no matter how much fixing I did on the original recording, the music would have to be quiet and well out of the way. The slightest overlap in frequency would wipe out the vocals.